Master_gardener_medium_medium Minnesota Yard & Garden

University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers are on-hand to answer Minnesotan's questions about home flower gardens, vegetable and fruit gardens, landscape design and maintenance, seed starting, garden soil, composting, and pest management.

(This group currently has 9 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Does my viburnum have sooty mold and beetles?

I think my viburnum american cranberry bush may have sooty mold and viburnum beetles. This mold is also on my weigela and mugo pine. Does this mold spread and how do I treat it? These shrubs are 20 years old and am wondering if shrubs have a lifespan and are more prone to insects and disease?

Hennepin County MN Posted about 8 hours ago

Maple Tree Trimming

Hello... I have two maples trees, approximately 9 and 12 years old and I would like to prune the lower branches so I can walk under them. Both are healthy trees. Is this good for the trees? Will it harm them?

Thank you!

Washington County MN Posted about 8 hours ago

Weed or friend ?

My daughter and son-in-law recently bought a house. There are several gardens that are reasonably well cared for. In them however some plants that I can’t identify. I don’t want to remove plants that will be a nice addition but would certainly like to get rid of the weeds. Attached are files from two different plants. Appreciate your thoughtful review.

Olmsted County MN Posted about 9 hours ago

Growing all over my back yard

Can you please identify this plant/tree and tell me how to eradicate it? It appears to be coming up along tree root systems. I have additional photos if you need them. Thank You so much for any assistance.

Dakota County MN Posted about 10 hours ago

volunteer trees

I am having a problem with volunteer trees growing along side my foundation at my home. Aside from digging them out by hand(I'm disabled)m what can I use to kill them?

Wright County MN Posted about 10 hours ago

Ants Everywhere (outside)

I just bought a house in Eagan. It’s on just over half an acre. I bought it for the yard with the intention of fencing it in. The yard is mostly white clover and creeping Charlie. Full sun. I have never minded ants until now. The entire yard is full of them. I only saw a few in the house and took care of them with some Terro. Outside there are big mounds (1-1.5 ft across! - now gone) in the yard, next to sidewalks/edging, small hills in the yard. Under the patio concrete, next to the foundation, under the deck supports. Small red ants. Moderate sized black ants. I did kill one giant black ant that was under the paint on a rotted piece of siding (there were larvae under there too - sealed it and put Terro out, haven’t seen those - I’ll be watching for carpenter ants). My big issue is the yard. If you pull a weed or dig a hole, the dirt is ant hill dirt (loose and gritty). You can pull back the “sod” and see that it’s an ant haven. I’ve put random Terro baits in areas and the bait is gone within a day. I have ordered the actual outdoor bait. Anyway, my actual question is: How deep into the ground can these ants have disturbed the soil? I plan to have a fence installed and many companies drive posts 3-4 feet into the ground now instead of setting them in concrete. I’m concerned that if these ants are deep enough that my fence posts won’t be stable. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a true ant farm. Wish I could see all of their tunnels! While I’m at it, what’s the best way to start controlling these colonies. I know ants are good for soil and aerate it (they’ve done a GREAT job of that here!) But I can’t have this many ants. They’re literally everywhere. I have dogs which is why I’ve stuck to the Terro baits versus full lawn treatment. I may just hire someone to tackle this - any recommendations?

Dakota County Minnesota ants Posted about 11 hours ago

New Serviceberry Tree

Hello, I planted a serviceberry tree about a month ago, and the branches are really droopy (see attached picture). When I took it out of the pot the roots were very shallow; only about 6" deep in an 18" deep pot. Are the droopy branches a sign of trouble, and if so any advice on what I can do to help the tree survive. Thanks, Kevin

Hennepin County Minnesota plant health serviceberry Posted about 12 hours ago

Japanese Beetles on raspberries

Is it safe to eat raspberries that have had Japanese Beetles on them?

Hennepin County Minnesota raspberries japanese beetles Posted about 12 hours ago

Yellow needles at base of newly planted 20-gallon Tannenbaum Mugo Pines

Hi, We recently purchased and planted ten Tannenbaum mugo pines at our property in Roseville. Some details: • 20-gallon pots purchased from Bachman’s, originally from an Oregon nursery • I planted them on 6/20/2020. Dug the holes 2x diameter of pots, amended the soil with 50% peat moss Question: After about 3 weeks, we started observing some yellow needles primarily in the lower branches and near the inner area of branches. I’m wondering if we might be watering them too much. • I water them every 2 days and try to keep soil generally damp • We have clay soil – outside of the amended soil/peat moss mix • The watering guide recommends: water every 2nd day during 1st month after planting when daytime high temps are above 80 degrees; water every 6th day after 1st month • One thing I realize I did NOT do yet is to apply Plant Starter I’d like your thoughts on the pattern of yellow needles and if you have any thoughts to share. Thanks! Pete

Ramsey County Minnesota plant health mugo pine needles browning Posted about 13 hours ago

Old Basswood Tree

I have an old basswood tree that is obviously dying. We want to save it if possible. It has 3 trunks from the ground up. 4 out of 5 tree services say take the entire tree down and replant nearby. One guy told me to cut Trunk #1 down completely. It is obviously the worst of the 3 and is leaning towards the house. He said to cut the deadwood out of the top of Trunk #2, and to leave Trunk #3 alone. His theory is the root system is now feeding 3 trunks and with one cut down, the same root system will be feeding 2 trunks and that will improve their health. Your thoughts? If we do need to take it down completely, what do you suggest we replace it with? It is full sun. The photo of Trunk #1 is facing due west. Ideally, it is a taller crown to provide shade yet not obstruct view of the lake.

Wright County Minnesota basswood Posted about 13 hours ago